At a fairly boring meeting (only one vote was not 7-0; Beth Moss and Ed Hughes voted against option three, to forgo $3.08 million in maintenance referendum authority and defer projects, Beth Moss discussed but did not introduce an amendment halve this to $1.5 million) , the Madison Metropolitan School District Board of Education passed the 2009-10 Budget and tax levy (agenda with linked documents here).
Every option to minimize the property tax levy that was offered was enacted, plus one more from Lucy Mathiak. The basic strategies were re-budgets to reflect past history and new efficiencies, rescheduling of debt payments, forgoing referendum authority and use of Fund Balance Equity. Madison will not be taxing to the max.
More than one member offered accurate, detailed and impassioned words about the failure of the state of Wisconsin to meet its obligations for educational investment. I give Arlene Silveira the points for detail and a tie between Arlene and Marj Passman for passion. Arlene emphasized the need to hold our elected officials accountable in the coming months. I’m with her on that…November 1010 elections aren’t that far off.
Probably more on the meeting later.
Here are the details of the budget and levy:
Total Levy — $234,240,964
Fund 10 –$ 218, 955, 521
Property Tax Charge-back — $85,945
Fund 38 – $65,250
Fund 39 – 0
Fund 41 – $6,835,765
Fund 80 – $8,298,483
Mil Rate 10.18 (an increase of .37 over 2008-9)
Impact on $250,000 home = $92.83 higher taxes.
Work on the 2010-11 budget will begin immediately. It will be hard and it will not be good.
One last note, although I would have liked a more thorough consideration of Fund Balance practices prior to the pasages of this budget, it appears that that will happen before the next budget cycle really kicks in next Spring.
Thomas J. Mertz